Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Construction work finally restarts at controversial Francistown stadium

After being stalled for six years, construction work for the much awaited Francistown stadium has begun once again and will be completed in 2015. This was revealed by Mayor of Francistown, James Kgalajwe, who said work has already begun to finish the long awaited project. The multi-million pula stadium was commissioned in 2009 but construction works were marred by delays and cost overruns occasioned by poor designs. Completion of the stadium was postponed several times due to design defects. In 2013, government kicked out the initial contractor, Tuwana construction for poor delivery. Late last year the project was also haunted by reports of vandalism by criminals.

However, on Monday Kgalajwe told a full Francistown City Council (FCC) meeting that the Department of Buildings and Engineering Services (DBES) has completed re-designing the project and was now gearing for completion. He said the project has been divided into two separate contracts after taking into consideration the diversity of the remaining scope of work.

“The two contracts are for works on the arena works and the crowd control facilities. The arena works are highly specialized areas which comprise of the soccer pitch, running track and associate infrastructure,” he said.

Turf Specialist Botswana (Pty) Ltd, a sports field specialist contractor, was awarded the contract on the 27th of March this year. The company is expected to complete the project in April 30th 2015. Kgalajwe added that the crowd control facilities and associated infrastructure works comprise of renovation of the existing facilities as well as incorporating new buildings to make the stadium functional. The scope of work includes ticket booths, tuck shops, medical facilities, renovation of the west stand and associated mechanical and electrical elements. The tender for these works was received on March 12th, 2014 and China Jiansu International (Pty) Ltd was appointed as the main contractor from April 25th. Synergy (Pty) Ltd was appointed the electrical subcontractor.

“Building works are expected to commence on site at the end of May 2014 and completion is expected before the end of May 2015,” said Kgalajwe.

He pleaded with councilors and members of the public to be patient as these interventions are taking place to bring the stadium to a usable state. He acknowledged that the stadium has been marred by controversies and promised that the city council will keep a vigilant eye on the project to make sure that it is completed successfully.

“I hope those who have been engaged will provide better service because they are aware of the bleak background of this facility. I urge them to be fully committed to completing the project on time,” said Kgalajwe.

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